My first impression of Stacey has stuck — she’s one of those who is fully comfortable in her skin. It’s a rare woman, these days, who isn’t afraid to be just who He made her to be. Stacey is that rare woman. And she’s stepping into this space, after having a month-old baby, to write about something so near to my heartbeat. Before you read her words, she’s running a one-month anniversary special — for one day only — on that baby of hers. Oh, yes, she’s selling that baby. Go check it out.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.” Hosea 6:3 (NASB)
I know the calendar says it is fall, but I need a good spring rain to come and water the parched places of my heart.
Lately, I have been pouring out words faster than I can fill up my own heart. It is showing, too, around the edges. I’m worn thin. You might say, I’m not OK.
The funny thing is, I recently wrote and released a book called “Being OK With Where You Are.” It is about moving from discouragement to worship and in the middle finding a promise to stand on. I meant every word I wrote—all 30,000.
But, in the days since it released, I have been tested on every one of them. It is interesting to see how the enemy is drawn like a magnet to the areas we shine the light of Truth on. He made a beeline to mine with a definitive target on my daily worship.
“I know you may not totally be OK with where you are. You aren’t required to be to worship. You may feel like the night is going to last forever, but I promise the joy of the morning is coming for you. His grace is going to outlive your life. And on the days when you wish you could trade yours for another, go ahead pour out your heart, dear girl. He hears it as a praise song. Do you believe it?
The thing about worship is it moves us and transforms us. It may well be the key to seeing everything in our life as stepping stones to getting us right where He wants us:
Eyes on Him.
Hands to heaven.
Ready and willing to do His will.
We worship.” – from Being OK With Where You Are, Chapter 10
Yes, these are my words. I’m choking on them a bit because right now my daily worship looks pretty hollow and empty. I’m so grateful God is a God of grace and second or twenty-fifth chances. This week, He began to water the barren land in my heart with these words as a reminder:
I need worship because He is worthy, not because of where I am or how I feel. I worship Holy because I need it like I need bread and water and He is both:
- My living, sustaining presence. He said, “I am the bread that gives life.” John 6:48 (The Voice Translation)
- My source of living water: “Rivers of living water will flow within you.” John 7:39 (The Voice Translation)
My sustaining presence receives my worship and lifts me higher. His rivers of living water flow on and on and wash away any traces of flesh and circumstances weighing down my heart. See, the One who was, and is, and is to come doesn’t need my worship. But, I need to remember who He is and worship is the first step.
I heard a story Sunday at church that moved me deeply from a book called The Insanity of God by Nik Ripkin. The story is about a man who lived in Communist Russia named Dimetri. He was put in prison for his faith for at least 17 years. Every morning, he would rise, face East, raise his hands to the heavens and sing a song of praise. The other prisoners mocked him. They threw things at him. Sill, he worshiped anyway.
One day the guards found out Dimetri was writing Bible verses on scrap pieces of paper and they came after him. As they were dragging him from his cell all 1500 prisoners stood up, faced East, raised their hands to heaven and began to sing the song of praise Dimetri had sung every morning for 17 years. The same prisoners who had mocked him were now praising God in his place. Glory. Isn’t that amazing?
I’m going to be honest at the risk of shocking you. Some days I feel like a prisoner in my own life. I am locked up in the daily living of making meals, doing laundry, chasing kids, and teaching math. I don’t have worship on my mind. I feel hopeless and consumed by the needs of those around me. I am limited on how I can please and love them. I fail constantly. Still, I am called to worship anyway.
I wondered as I sat with tears in my eyes last Sunday, could I too have a Dimetri moment in my life? How would it affect my family if daily I raised my hands to the heavens, faced East, and sang a song of praise? Would they join me one day in singing that song as well?
I am a dreadfully slow learner. I find God the most patient teacher. I’m saying no to some things in my life in the days ahead and I’m pressing on to know Him. And He will come to me and I know He will water those dry places in my heart. He has promised.
So, I’m going start singing.
Stacey Thacker is Mike’s wife and the mother of four vibrant girls. She is a believer and writer who loves God’s Word and connecting with women. You can find her blogging at 29 Lincoln Avenue where she seeks to encourage your heart, grow in faith, and talk about the stuff of life. She is also the owner of Mothers of Daughters a monthly e-zine for moms. Stacey is the co-author of Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets you in Your Mess. You can find her on Facebook or on Twitter, where she usually hangs out with a cup of coffee in her hand.